Canadian Cancer Society logo

Prostate cancer

You are here: 

Malignant tumours of the prostate

Malignant tumours of the prostate are cancerous growths that have the potential to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.


Gland cells in the prostate produce the prostatic fluid that is part of semen. More than 95% of prostate cancers develop from these gland cells and are called adenocarcinomas. Most adenocarcinomas are found in the peripheral zone of the prostate and may be felt during a digital rectal examination (DRE).

Adenocarcinomas are most commonly found in more than one site (multifocal) in the prostate. The gradegradeA description of a tumour that includes how different the cancer cells look from normal cells (differentiation), how quickly the cancer cells are growing and dividing, and how likely they are to spread. can vary in each site.

Rare prostate tumours

Other types of prostate cancer include:

  • transitional cell carcinoma
  • sarcoma
  • small cell (neuroendocrine) carcinoma
  • ductal carcinoma
  • mucinous carcinoma
  • large duct (endometrioid) carcinoma
  • primary lymphoma of the prostate

These rare types of prostate cancer make up less than 5% of all prostate cancers.


Photo of Pat Hartley It didn’t matter how much experience and knowledge I had about cancer. I was in shock.

Read Pat's story

A home away from home

Illustration of house

For cancer patients who must travel a great distance to get to treatment, Canadian Cancer Society lodges offer a welcoming place to stay.

Learn more